Coca-Cola South Africa launches US$6.99m SME Supplier Development Fund

SOUTH AFRICA – Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) has announced that it will avail US$6.99 million (R100 million) over the next five years to support the growth and development of its suppliers. 

Speaking during the company’s annual Supplier Development Conference under the theme ‘Collaborative and Inclusive Growth’, CCBSA Financial Director, Walter Leonhardt, said the fund is aimed at supporting growth and sustainability of its suppliers.

“The new CCBSA SME Supplier Fund is aimed at supporting the growth and sustainability of black suppliers.

 It will make R20 million (US$1.4 million) a year available over five years at preferential rates to help existing black- and black female-owned suppliers’ access the funding they needed to deliver on new and existing contracts.

The CCBSA SME Supplier Fund is intended to address the challenge of access to finance that most SMEs face when running their businesses,” Leonhardt said.

The Coca-Cola bottler said it is also partnering with other fund managers to improve the efficiency of smaller suppliers’ access to other funding sources.

According to Velaphi Ratshefola, Managing Director CCBSA, the company had exceeded its target of diverting US$272.88 million of procurement spend to transformed suppliers over three years, reports TheWorldNews

Ratshefola stressed that the initiatives are geared towards accelerating inclusive economic growth and create jobs highlighting collaboration as an important aspect in achieving the goal of transforming CCBSA’s procurement environment.

“It is through everybody’s efforts, that CCBSA is able to support black businesses and is now well on target to meet its goal of becoming a Level 2 broad-based black empowerment contributor by 2021,” Leonhardt added.

This marks the third year of CCBSA’s Supplier Development Conference which aims at providing a networking platform between small, medium and micro enterprises with other stakeholders such as government departments, corporates, finance institutions and business organisations.

The conference targets specific suppliers operating in fleet maintenance, manufacturing plant spares and machinery, engineering and logistics, and packaging suppliers, creating opportunities for them to enter the supply chains of various corporates.

According to Ratshefola the approach breaks down the barriers in the way of business growth and economic development by providing a competitive platform for all businesses.

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